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The reinvigoration of the Southern Ocean carbon sink


Landschutzer, P and Gruber, N and Haumann, FA and Rodenbeck, C and Bakker, DCE and van Heuven, S and Hoppema, M and Metzl, N and Sweeney, C and Takahashi, T and Tilbrook, B and Wanninkhof, R, The reinvigoration of the Southern Ocean carbon sink, Science, 349, (6253) pp. 1221-1224. ISSN 0036-8075 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights Reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.aab2620


Several studies have suggested that the carbon sink in the Southern Ocean—the ocean’s strongest region for the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 —has weakened in recent decades. We demonstrated, on the basis of multidecadal analyses of surface ocean CO2 observations, that this weakening trend stopped around 2002, and by 2012, the Southern Ocean had regained its expected strength based on the growth of atmospheric CO2. All three Southern Ocean sectors have contributed to this reinvigoration of the carbon sink, yet differences in the processes between sectors exist, related to a tendency toward a zonally more asymmetric atmospheric circulation. The large decadal variations in the Southern Ocean carbon sink suggest a rather dynamic ocean carbon cycle that varies more in time than previously recognized.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southern Ocean, carbon sink, CO2, carbon cycle
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition
UTAS Author:Tilbrook, B (Dr Bronte Tilbrook)
ID Code:106766
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:254
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-02-19
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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